Monthly Column – September


What Is A Cappella?

Thanks to films and TV shows such as Pitch Perfect and Glee, and musical groups like Straight No Chaser and Pentatonix, a cappella music has become very popular.

The term a cappella is Italian for “in the style of the chapel” and is performed by a singer, or singers, without instrumental accompaniment. It’s been around for centuries, but as I spoke about in my August column, this style of singing really took off when men waiting their turn at the barbershop, entertained themselves by singing this way. It was often just a small group of four men singing songs in four-part harmony, using only their voices to create perfect harmony.

So, How Can You Learn to Sing A Cappella?

If you have ever heard it, you know a cappella singers make it look easy. But actually, singing a cappella takes hard work, practice, a good ear and teamwork; the results are worth all the effort! Don’t read music? Don’t despair – there are teaching tracks to help.

There are so many benefits to singing a cappella:

  • You rely on your ear, rather than an accompanist or backing tracks, to know that you are in tune with everyone else.
  • You’re not alone: a cappella music makes you more musically independent yet, at the same time, it teaches you to rely on each other. This is where the teamwork comes in: you know your part and you blend in with the other parts to make the most incredible sound.
  • You are versatile: you can sing anything from Baroch to Barbershop. A cappella is a style of singing that can be easily expressed in any kind of music, giving you a great choice of repertoire.

What Are You Waiting For?

The skills and benefits gained from enjoying something in the company of others is priceless. It is truly amazing when an a cappella group’s hard work pays off and it becomes one voice, but the best part is that it’s FUN!! Fun music, new skills, new friends, and unforgettable experiences.

It really is for everyone, so why not give it a try?

Lyn Baines sings bass with Spangles Ladies’ Harmony Chorus. If you have any questions, reach out to Lyn by email:

Lyn Baines
Author: Lyn Baines

Chorus founder and manager, bass section leader.

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